UK: Unusual fungus found in bamboo plant


A rare species of fungi, which smells of rotting flesh and usually found in much more southerly climes, has been found by a resident near Oundle in Northamptonshire, England.

Steve Flack, from Lilford, contacted The Wildlife Trusts, after seeing an unusual fungi growing in his bamboo plant: “I discovered it about two weeks ago when it was a hard white sphere growing to about two-thirds the size of a golf ball. I presumed it was a developing puff ball so I kept watching it. It has been growing in amongst a potted bamboo plant, which I’ve kept outside for the past 6 years.”

Bright red fungusMr Flack’s find has now been confirmed as the Red Cage Fungus, also known as the Lattice Stinkhorn (Clathrus ruber). “I didn’t look at it for about three or four days so I was very surprised this morning to discover it had turned red and very smelly… I have never seen anything remotely like this.”

Normally recorded in the west of England and the Channel Islands, the Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre, has confirmed this is a first. The Association of British Fungus Groups’ only lists 38 records in the whole country and it's widely regarded as an ‘alien’ species to the UK.

Brian Eversham, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Peterborough, said: “It is a real find; I’m delighted to see this. It’s a native of southern Europe, and is thought to have been spreading northwards in the last few decades. The early British records of the fungus were thought to be introduced when composted bark has been put down, a number of fungi can be moved around in compost.”

The Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre is keen to hear of any unusual finds. Contact them on 01604 400448 or email

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